GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A Gastonia substance abuse program is shut down after city officials found out the business was running out of a hotel.
One man says he was on his way to defeating his battle with alcohol, but is now homeless because the program also offered housing.
The program called Daily Living Source was working out of an Econo Lodge. For just $200 they promised a place to stay, help with mental health and substance abuse. Now that it's been shut down, one man says he feels like the entire thing was a scam and now feels like he's been set back on trying to get clean.
Charlie Mathis says he turned to alcohol and used drugs after his mom passed way in March. He says he knew it was time for a change after he felt like he hit rock bottom.
"I've lost my vehicle, I've lost my home, I've lost my mom; I've lost my whole entire life," said Mathis.
A program called Daily Living Source was his glimmer of hope for turning his life around. He signed up for help, paid a fee of $200 and was on a journey to a sober life with a place to stay under the program. But there was a problem, Daily Living Source had no building of its own, the program was completely working out of an Econo Lodge.
"For some odd reason that threw a little red flag."
Gastonia officials stepped in and shut the program down. It's a city violation to run a business inside of another business. The manager for the Econo Lodge said they had no idea Daily Living Source was renting out rooms to run a business.
"This program was scamming us."
The end of the program also meant Mathis would no longer have help to fight his battle with drugs.
"I don't want to die because of some alcohol, or because of marijuana or anything like that. I want to be a clean person."
Mathis no longer has a place to stay. He now sleeps along railroad tracks and in wooded areas around downtown Gastonia. He says it seems impossible to find any kind of shelter.
"Nobody is willing to take me because I'm disabled," Mathis said.
Charlie feels like he's taken steps forward to change his life for the better only to have the program set him back, and admits he's still clean despite what he's been through.
"It was total hell, especially here at the holiday season."
Delores Jordan, who runs Daily Living Source, believes nothing was done wrong on her end and is looking to restart the program elsewhere. A search for the Daily Living Source could not be found on the Better Business Bureau's website.